Issue No.1 – $$ The Almighty Dollar $$
Several years ago I started in the entertainment business as a publicist. At first, I got in because of the fulfillment of knowing I was helping people behind the scenes but things began to change as I began to get clients that were unable to pay me, the less they paid me the less I was able to do for them. I had my hands tied because people often believe publicity is free but it’s only free if you do something crazy, unimaginable or stupid. I won’t spend too much time here because I have an article to write about that to but its just a good lead to tell you about a recent poll I did on Linkedin, I asked over 300k people involved in the creative space of fashion, art, media and entertainment; “What is #1 struggle for a creative person?” I got a resounding response and the most common thread was MONEY and lack thereof.
Money = Attorneys, Publicist, Photo Shoots, Press Releases, Promo Tours, Schooling, Business Travel, Merchandise, Sewing Machines, Guitars, Memberships, Marketing, Canvas, Paint, Laptops, etc.
All of the things listed indeed viable to your success and some people would say NO you don’t need money to have all those things, start small. What people don’t realize is that if you start with no budget someone will need a bigger budget to bail you out of predatory contracts later. So I want to help you past your budgetary concerns and keep you out of a headlock that will suffocate your creativity. A lot of creatives who are desperately looking for a way to “gain exposure” often fall victim to contracts that take all of the fun out of it or they spend what little money they do have on service providers that can not do a quality job, they often put the money in their pocket, make a few calls on your behalf and call it a day.
What’s free? Nothing is exactly free. It cost money to send a press release, it cost money to schedule a studio, it cost money to have a fashion show, everything has a cost. So how do you find quality people and a money flow to help you reach your goals or even stay at the top (if you’re there)? Do your research. Don’t sign contracts that don’t give you an easy option out, don’t give a hypebeast your money.
Now that we are over that part lets talk about things you can do at any level to gain exposure;
- Put your pride aside
- Be polite to people, you never know who or what that person can be to you
- Establish a relationship with a journalist that cover your industry
- Only put your best work out to the public (if your visual/audio quality sounds and looks cheap don’t do it)
- Keep track of your fans, keep an email list because social networks can delete your accounts at anytime
- Lacking funds? Do a crowdfunding campaign and be honest about your goals
- If you’re a local creative go to your city’s creative alliance and ask about pro-bono attorneys (MD has a group)
- Don’t be afraid to get on the phone and work it yourself if you can’t pay people
- Be smart about social media, look at how people respond to your messages, change them if you need to
- Ask for and learn how to take criticism, fix the issues others see as a roadblock for you
- Don’t turn your back on the people who are sacrificing time and money for you (unless they become crazed)
- Have some patience with the plans you or others have made on your behalf
- Put the work in, Your capable of shining your own light so others see you
- Last but not least, be consistent!
That’s it for now, I’m working on a series of articles for subjects similar to this one so check back often. We are also looking for professionals in every facet of this business to give you the real information you need for this time period. So much has changed, we’ve got a lot to discuss.